July 2008
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How to abuse your friends’ identities and influence people

This just in on Messenger earlier today:

[20:43] Rich: hi chris!
[20:43] Rich: we are thinking of going to vegas next week
[20:43] Rich: – just wondered if you would have any hotel reccommendations etc?

I really hate the fact that anybody I’ve ever spoken to can see whether I’m actually available or not from my status on messenger.

Gone to make a coffee?  After a couple of minutes it automatically tells the world "brb", like it knows I haven’t gone far.

Stay away from the keyboard for ten minutes or more though and it marks you up as a guilty "away".  In my case it may as well say "probably gone for a sneaky game of Rock Band".

How am I supposed to avoid people effectively if "online" actually means "he’s definitely at his desk"! 🙂

So I’ve turned that feature off.  It looks like I’m online and active 24/7 and I do get quite a few messages while I’m nowhere nearby to reply to them as a result.

I missed this one while I was busy earning five gold stars playing Roxanne on expert level drums. 8)

However, I caught up with Rich later this evening and got the full story.

He knows a man who knows a man who can get discounted flights with Virgin Atlantic, so if that comes off he and his better half are going to put the baby into kennels for a few days so they can take a very short trip to Sin City.

Hey, it’s better than bringing the kid with you.  Don’t get me started on that.

Rich didn’t realise I’d be there at the same time.  Nor did he realise that he’d been checking out prices for a three nights hotel stay that was identical to a comp I’d already booked!

[22:01] Rich: one called flamingo looked ok, plus a big tower thingy was cheap

Well, forget about the Stratosphere.  I think Flamingo is a great location for a first trip though, it’s right in the heart of the action, a classic hotel that’s been kept up to date and it has awesome neon out front.

Summerfest (and Winterfest) should be the one comp that Harrah’s won’t take away from me – it’s a listed perk for all players Platinum or higher.  You get 3 nights accomodation (their choice of dates, your choice of hotel) and entry into some kind of tournament.

In this case, my package is staying at Flamingo and playing a Blackjack tournament at Rio.  Beyond that I really don’t know the details except it’s costing me nothing and there are cash prizes.

Hence why I’d already booked a free room I didn’t need, just so I could register for the tournament.

[22:03] Rich: what? you’re joking? you already have a room booked there?!
[22:03] Rich: what did you pay?

He’ll learn.

It’s just a bizarre coincidence that these dates matched so perfectly.  I’d been half-jokingly toying with the idea of trying to sell some room comps on ebay (last count: 19 nights during my trip), but I don’t particularly like the idea of having to trust a complete stranger to not trash the room.

For Rich, I’ll check in and leave my credit card on file, then just go up to the room and chain the minibar shut before handing over the keys… 🙂

In return, all I want is to be able to borrow some identities.  Not much to ask, is it?

New players get the easiest slot club offers, so it’s going to be a case of picking out the best deals then having Claire and me pile through as much action as possible in order to have Rich and Sarah qualify for all that lovely free food and whatnot.

They can watch the pirate battle and dancing fountains while we play, then later we all share in the spoils.

I know for certain that the signup offer at Wynn will be a can’t-miss deal.  It doesn’t take long – and only a theoretical loss of $6.75 – to earn two buffet comps worth about $70.

There’s also a rebate of your first $100 in losses for new Harrah’s Total Rewards players, although I think it’s a cheque in the mail that you can only redeem on your next trip to a casino, so that might not be quite as useful.

But sadly the superb sun shield, gas card and free play offer at Four Queens didn’t last the distance.  The offer is still good until the end of August, but all the video poker machines that would have let you max out the offer in a couple of hours have been downgraded.  You can still get good value, but it will take some marathon sessions to get there and probably isn’t the kind of thing we can burn through quickly enough during their three day trip.

Some recon work will definitely be required shortly after I land.

T-4 btw.